ESPN Bet, a sports-gambling service rebranded with the name of the Disney-owned sports channel, has officially launched in 17 U.S. states. The service is operated by Penn Entertainment, which signed a $1.5 billion deal with ESPN for the rights to use their name. Under this agreement, Penn will manage ESPN Bet while ESPN promotes the app across its online and broadcast platforms.

Expansion Across the States

The ESPN Bet app was set to go live on Tuesday afternoon, although no specific time was provided by a Penn spokesperson. It is now available in the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

A Decade-Long Partnership

Penn's rights to the ESPN brand will last for an initial decade with the option to extend for another 10 years. Alongside the $1.5 billion licensing deal, Penn has granted ESPN rights worth approximately $500 million to purchase shares in their company.

Rebranding and Expansion

ESPN Bet is a rebranded version of the existing sports-betting app known as Barstool Sportsbook. In August, Penn sold Barstool Sports back to its founder Dave Portnoy. With the upcoming debut of ESPN Bet, Walt Disney Co. is entering new territory, as the company is known for maintaining a family-friendly image rather than being associated with sports gambling.

Emphasizing Responsible Gaming

As part of the agreement, ESPN has committed to using its platforms to educate sports fans about responsible gaming. They will continue covering the sports betting industry with journalistic integrity and establish a responsible gaming committee within the company. In addition, ESPN is developing marketing guidelines that aim to safeguard fans.

ESPN Bet's launch marks an exciting development in the sports gambling industry, with the potential to significantly impact the landscape of online betting in the United States.

Leave Comment